Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 9 April 2019
The first issue of LogoArchive was conceived, designed and sent to the printers within a day. It was inspired by a panel discussion that took place the day before at Somerset House as part of the exhibition Print! Tearing It Up. Following the successful launch of three issues, LogoArchive returns with a very special Extra Issue in collaboration with Canada Modern, designed and edited by Blair Thomson, documenting the forms and colour of Canada’s modernist symbols.
LogoArchive zines are available at LogoArchive.shop.
Channelling the spirit of fanzines, pamphleteering of the past and with an independent spirit, LogoArchive seeks to surprise and delight within the context and practice of mid-century logo archival, reconfiguring itself with each new issue. The distinctive smaller format of a booklet provides ample license to experiment and collaborate with other like-minded archives. One such resource is Canada Modern, a digital and physical archive of Canadian graphic design from 1960—1985 and launched in 2018.
Canada Modern shines a light on works that, until now, have only been held by institutions or private collectors, or in the private archives of the designers themselves. A key part of the success of Canada Modern is down to the relationships that its creator Blair Thomson has built with many of the leading figures from the period. Designers including Stuart Ash, Burton Kramer and Raymond Bellemare have all generously shared their time and resources with the project, as have the colleagues and families of those that are no longer with us.
A gatefold 90gsm Chromolux insert tells the story of Gottschalk+Ash’s work for the outdoor advertising company Claude Neon Ltd., one of the first examples of adaptable identity systems.
The Extra Issue features a full-colour insert, a first for LogoArchive and the only way to capture the joy and spirit so inextricably linked with a pivotal period in Canadian graphic design. The insert features colour images from original transparencies kindly donated by the support and cooperation of Stuart Ash and Entro Communications.
Canada Modern is a unique and priceless archive of a distinct national and cultural identity. LogoArchive and publisher BP&O are delighted to have been able to hand over this Extra Issue to Blair. The integrity of his practice and sensitivity to design, we hope you will agree, is evident throughout.
About Canada Modern
Canada Modern is an archive of modernist Canadian graphic design focused on the period 1960—1985. It was conceived and produced by Canadian creative director Blair Thomson in 2017 and is the culmination of a long-held ambition to curate a comprehensive national cache, whilst simultaneously addressing the absence of any such resource on a singular thread.
Canada Modern is an ongoing and collaborative endeavour driven by the passion of Blair Thomson, supported by designers and publishers. To help share the story and the unique archive that is Canada Modern Blair welcomes the opportunity to speak about the project. If you’d like to request an interview, please send an e-mail to Blair Thomson.
Specifications: Booklet: 10 Pages, Colorplan Bright Red 135gsm, White & Black Ink, Black Staples x3. Insert: 8 Pages, Chromolux 90gsm. Outside: Black Ink. Inside: Full Colour. Print: WithPrint: with-print.co.uk. Photography: Pip Hayler Photography: piphaylerphotography.co.uk. Discover more about logo design at LogoArchive’s Logo Histories.